Book Review – Loving Your Friend Through Cancer

Loving Your Friend Through Cancer

By Marissa Henley 
260 pages, R&R Publishing Co
ISBN 9781629953540

Goodreads rating: 4.76 out of 5

This month, we revisit the loaded topic of the Big C – cancer.  As the years go by, we hear more and more of our friends and family getting cancer. Some survive, some don’t. But we all suffer, not just physically, but mentally and spiritually. Maybe sometimes these news of cancer have become all to common, we have become desensitized to it, especially with acquaintances that we aren’t too close with – the circles of our very own PJEFC is a good example. We all hear the common call every Sunday (and during prayer meets) to remember them in prayer. But do we go further than that? ‘Oh we’re not close friends, and I’m sure the family and / or Cell Group is taking care of him or her’.

This book breaks down how to deal with your friend going through cancer. It presents a very comprehensive take, albeit in a very friendly and readable way. It starts by determining what level of friendship you have, and what you should and should not do at each level. It then details all the specific struggles the patient will endure, followed by their immediate family, and consequently, you as a friend. Cancer isn’t just about chemotherapy, but it also anxiety about the next scan, anxiety about if you will wake up the next morning, worry about who will take care of your children. And we haven’t even broached the questions about God and suffering yet. The theological issues are presented directly here, without ambiguity. There are clear guidelines for what you should and shouldn’t do, or rather, what you should or shouldn’t say and ask.

But more than that, this book focuses on the practicality of things. It gives very practical advice on many ways you can help to alleviate the suffering of the patient and family.

There are many books in the library. Some books you read because you like the topic, some have interesting covers. This book meets a specific topic (though a rather important one), and one that you should read if you want to be friend to those who suffer.


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